Gradual safe return on the Square Mile’s streets

Following PM Johnsons’s public address, requirements for people to work from home if they can and to practice social distancing remain in place in the City of London. While most people who work in the Square Mile can continue to work from home, it is likely that some people will begin travelling to and through the City over the coming weeks.

Space for car parking is extremely limited and any increase in the number of people using cars, taxis and private hire vehicles to commute is likely to lead to congestion, as well as an increase in air pollution and road danger. For these reasons, the return to the City needs to be primarily by walking, cycling and public transport.

Square Mile: Transportation response to support COVID-19 recovery

The City Corporation’s COVID-19 transport response focusses on achieving two main aims:

  • Residents, workers and visitors are safe and feel comfortable travelling into and within the Square Mile, particularly when travelling on foot, by bike and on public transport.
  • City businesses receive support in their COVID-19 recovery and the City remains an attractive location for business.

To deliver these aims, the Corporation will provide:

  • On street change providing additional space for people walking and cycling. These will first be installed using signs, lines and barriers to allow for easy adaptation if required.
  • Measures to support businesses, manage travel demand and encourage travel on foot, by cycle and on public transport.

On street measures, the Corporation will include:

  • Timed closures to motor vehicles (24/7 or 7am – 7pm)
  • Reallocation of carriageway to space for walking, queueing and cycling and providing priority for buses
  • Closing streets through traffic or other changes in operation (e.g. switching to one-way)

The following streets have been selected for the first phase of change on the basis of pedestrian numbers, pavement widths, cycling demand and connections to destinations, retail and transport hubs. These streets are:

  • Cannon Street (between Queen Victoria Street and Monument junction)
  • Cheapside and Poultry
  • Old Jewry and Coleman Street
  • Lombard Street
  • Leadenhall Street and St Mary Axe
  • Threadneedle Street and Old Broad Street

The proposals in the report are subject to City Corporation Committee approval and agreement with Transport for London. If approved, the Corporation should be able to begin implementing these changes in the week beginning 25 May. This will ensure that authorities can deliver the necessary changes to streets in advance of a significant return of workers to the Square Mile.

More information